Founded by Lady Anne Tree in 1997, Fine Cell Work trains men and women in prison to do high-quality, paid needlework in the long hours spent in their cells. This fosters confidence, hope and self-discipline. Fine Cell Work’s aim is to enable them to acquire new skills, to earn and save some money and to acquire the ¬†self-belief to stop offending.

The sale of their work gives prisoners a sense of connection with the world outside prison. Currently working in 30 British prisons with up to 500 prisoners in each calendar year, and around 270 at any one time, Fine Cell Work specifically addresses key issues affecting prisoners’ offending behaviour; development of work skills, relationships and mental resilience. Taught by experienced volunteers, prisoners in their cell organise their own work and decide how to spend their earnings which establishes a work ethic and creates the opportunity for them to send money out to family members or to save for their release.

The beautifully handmade work is supported by designers such as Pentreath and Hall, Melissa Wyndham and Kit Kemp. Fine Cell Work has completed specialist commissions for artists including Tracy Chevalier, Gavin Turk and Cornelia Parker, and institutional customers including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Jerwood Foundation and the Worshipful Company of Glaziers.